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Developing Critical Thinking Skills with The Colbert Report

4 evaluate colberts presentation of information is it

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Unformatted text preview: ossibilities. The following is a list of suggested questions that support higher level thinking. 1. Identify any images/symbols in the clip. Think about how Colbert is dressed, what the set looks like, what is in the background, and anything else you see. How are the images used and what effect do they have? 2. How does Colbert use pregnant pauses? When does he pause? What is the effect of the pause on what he is saying? How does the pause effect the presentation of the topic? 3. Listen to the words that Colbert uses in the clip. Which words stand out? Why do they stand out? Why is Colbert’s word choice important? How is it effective? 4. Evaluate Colbert’s presentation of information. Is it effective? Is it funny? Why? 5. Identify alternative thinking in the clip and explain how it differs from mainstream expectations. 6. How do we expect information to be presented? How is it presented on The Colbert Report? Suggested Activities and Assignments The assignments discussed below could be easily adapted to any video or image you would prefer to use. Furthermore, these assignments can be combined and tweaked according to the critical thinking skills you wish to teach. Effectiveness of Colbert’s style of argument – Show a clip of one of the segments on The Colbert Report and have students watch and listen for the main argument. They should answer the following questions: 1. Determine the conclusion – what is Colbert trying to get you to believe or think about? 2. Identify the support – does Colbert provide evidence for his conclusion? What is the evidence? 3. Evaluate the argument – does the evidence support Colbert’s conclusion? What is your interpretation of Colbert’s argument? Identify alternative interpretations. If time permits a short lesson on developing arguments, this assignment works best in conjunction with the Rules for Short Arguments chapter in A Rulebook for Arguing. The following is a short summary of the rules: A. Identify premises and conclusions – determine what you are trying to prove. Your conclusion is the statement for which you are giving reasons. Your premises are statements that give your reasons for the conclusion. 2 The Academy for Teaching and Learnin...
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